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Nicolas Cage Recalls How Flops In Hollywood Marginalized Him And How He Knew He Had To Get Back To His Indie Roots

Nicolas Cage has been ingrained in Hollywood for decades given his illustrious career and family connections. Like many actors in the film industry, Cage has experienced triumphs and failures over his five-decade career. Unfortunately, his failures seemingly left a bad taste in Hollywood’s mouth. The Oscar winner reflected on how being marginalized by his Hollywood flops led to him returning to his indie film roots.

From the 1980s to the mid-2000s, the Pig star ruled Hollywood as a box-office superstar with a penchant for genre-hopping. It worked for many years until a series of box office disappointments led to him falling out of favor with the big studios. Cage recalled his last studio film being the poorly received Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance. Since then, the Kick-Ass star has chosen smaller films outside the Croods franchise and 2018's Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Nic Cage spilled to Variety’s Award Circuit podcast about how indie films like Pig saved him. When speaking about filmmaker Michael Sarnoski, he said:

I call him Archangel Michael because I knew somewhere along the way after a couple of flops I had been marginalized in the studios system and I wasn’t going to get invited by them. I always knew it would take a young filmmaker who would come back, remember some movies I had made, know that I might be right for his script and rediscover me.

As the Face/Off star pointed out, there’s a generation of filmmakers and actors that still love and admire his past work. Being rediscovered has allowed Cage to take on some of his best performances in recent years. But being pushed aside by the big studios did sting for the Oscar winner. Nic Cage got honest about what led to his absence from Hollywood blockbusters for a decade.

By flops I meant like Sorcerer’s Apprentice with Disney did not land. Or Drive Angry did not land. In retrospect, now it’s a fun movie, right? Even Ghost Rider, the second Ghost Rider, that was my last studio film. It seemed like I was no longer on the studio radar, but I knew I could always go back to my indie radar. Which was and is still my roots. And I was just waiting, waiting for the right directors… I was always able to go back to these people who were still inviting me to the club.

Luckily, Cage’s immense talent allowed the indie film world to embrace him with open arms. Unfortunately, the Leaving Las Vegas star wasn't the first actor to be turned away from mainstream films. That doesn’t mean Cage hasn’t been working hard. In 2021 alone, Nic Cage popped up in three releases, including Prisoners of the Ghostland, with several more films coming in 2022 like The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent.

Hollywood may finally be willing to embrace the Willy’s Wonderland star again after he was cast as Dracula in an upcoming movie. Looks like there’s another Hollywood renaissance on the horizon… so bring it!

Adreon Patterson

A boy from Greenwood, South Carolina. CinemaBlend Contributor. An animation enthusiast (anime, US and international films, television). Freelance writer, designer and artist. Lover of music (US and international).